HERESIES OF WESTCOTT AND HORT
by D.A. Waite
Heresies in Satanology
In this general division of demonology or Satanology, there is usually taken up the teachings on Satan and his demons, and so on [cf. Chafer, Systematic Theology, Vol. II]. In this area, I noted the following items, in various degrees of heresy and/or error.
Westcott Failed to Affirm the Personality of the Devil, Calling Him Only a "Power"
(1 John3:8) From the very beginning we see a power in action hostile to God. Between these two, as between light and darkness, there can be no middle term.
—Westcott—1-3 John, op. cit., p. 106
Westcott was commenting on the "devil" and called him a mere "power." This is a sad heresy.
Hort Likewise Refused to Affirm the Personality of Satan, Calling Him Merely "the Power of Evil"
(Revelation 2:13) ("the throne of Satan") ... but the visible supremacy of the power of evil, inspiring to evil.
—Hort—Revelation, op. cit, p. 27
Satan and the Devil is more than a mere "power" as Westcott and Hort both heretically refer to him. The Lord Jesus Christ, in the context of John 8:44, clearly spoke of the Devil and Satan as a person, and so did Paul and the rest of the New Testament writers.
JUST BECAUSE IN TWO INSTANCES WESCOTT AND HORT DID NOT SAY "THE PERSON OF" REGARDING THE DEVIL, DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY PROVE THEY DID NOT BELIEVE SATAN WAS AN INDIVIDUAL BEING. I MAY MYSELF USE "POWER" AT TIMES, INSTEAD OF "PERSON" - IT IS ALL PART OF VARIETY IN WRITING. TO FIND THE HERESY OF NOT BELIEVING SATAN IS A PERSONAL BEING, YOU WOULD NEED TO FIND SOMEONE WRITING SOMETHING LIKE "THE IDEA OF SATAN BEING A PERSONAL BEING IS WRONG." OR "I DO NOT BELIEVE THE DEVIL IS A PERSONAL BEING" OR "I DO NOT BELIEVE THE DEVIL WAS ONCE AN ANGEL WHO SINNED AND SO BECAME SATAN THE DEVIL."
WAITE'S REPLY DOES NOT BRING FORTH ANY SUCH QUOTATIONS FROM WESCOTT AND HORT; HENCE WAITE IS JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS AND READING INTO TWO SENTENCES FROM WESTCOTT AND HORT TO PROVE THEY WERE HERETICS ON THIS TOPIC. THE TWO SENTENCES QUOTED PROVE NO SUCH THING, OTHER CLEARER SENTENCES WOULD NEED TO BE FOUND.